8 Emerging Canadian Artists You Need to Hear in January 2021

BY Exclaim! StaffPublished Jan 5, 2021

The holiday season is behind us and the year-end lists have been posted and dissected to death. What better way to shake off the lingering holiday haze than by discovering some new music? Here are eight emerging Canadian artists starting 2021 off strong.

Toronto, ON
For fans of: Karenn, Vladimir Dubyshkin, Ancient Methods

It's always great to see a hard-working producer join some international heavyweights on a well-respected label. By signing to Nina Kraviz's label, трип, Newfoundland-born AADJA has done just that, and with gusto. Her recently released label debut, thought dealer, is full of immersive techno belters. We advise you take notice, and then promptly get lost in her hypnotic dancefloor caverns.
Daryl Keating

Blxck Cxsper
Montreal, QC
For fans of: Bali Baby, Trippie Redd

Blxck Cxsper is a rapper, producer and visionary on a mission to create more opportunities for trans musicians to thrive in the music industry. Their hard work is paying off between Cxsper's prolific solo output, like New Year's Eve-released mission statement "Penthouse," and their Trans Trenderz collective, which has been shining a light on a world of underheralded talents with fortnightly releases, including last month's mixtape, It's a Very Trans Christmas.
Matt Bobkin

Vancouver, BC
For fans of: SZA, boy pablo

DACEY write songs that make you want to lie in the sun with your friends and get high. On singles like "I'll Be There" and "Broccoli's Keeper," there's an ingrained chillness and affable joy to the Vancouver band's mix of indie pop and R&B that's highlighted by shimmering guitar riffs and lead singer Dacey Andrada's confident delivery. Catch more rays on January 11 when DACEY's EP Satin Playground drops.
Laura Stanley

Edmonton, AB
For fans of: Chance the Rapper, Joey Bada$$

Last June, K-Riz was involved in a head-on car accident. During his recovery, he created The Room EP, released in December, which infuses heartfelt rhymes with soul and R&B sounds as a means of paying the well-wishes forward while still digging into the depths of his pain. His sophomore full-length is due out later this year.
Matt Bobkin

Kylie V
Vancouver, BC
For fans of: Phoebe Bridgers, Elliott Smith

Kylie V is turning 17 later this month, but the introspective dream-folk singer has already been playing shows in Vancouver for two years. When not opening for catchy heavy hitters Peach Pit and Peach Kelli Pop, or trying to get Phoebe Bridgers' attention with covers and Halloween costumes, Kylie's been putting out their most sophisticated music yet and teasing their debut album, Big Blue.
Leslie Ken Chu

Toronto, ON
For fans of: Meg Myers, Florence + the Machine

POESY, a.k.a. London, ON's Sarah Botelho, came to national attention after competing on The Launch in 2018. Her songs hold a sense of independence with strong vocals and a confident attitude. Her latest single, "Diamonds," intensifies the moods of her debut EP, 2019's Glass Box Confessional.
Francesca Rose

Real World
Toronto, ON
For fans of: Slipknot, Code Orange, Sepultura

Real World became Toronto mainstays off the back of 2019's The Language of My Life Was Written in Blood. On their latest project, Problem Child, the four-piece hardcore/metal hybrid have developed a fresh shade of mosh-pit mayhem. Highlight track "Paralyzed" almost clocks in at nearly seven minutes and features a vocal co-sign from Tomb Mold's Max Klebanoff.
Connor Atkinson

Brampton, ON
For fans of: Silversun Pickups, Nothing

Between the alt-rock vocals, shoegaze choruses and dream-pop ambiance, there's a lot to get lost in on Sicayda's self-titled sophomore EP, coming on January 8. On the EP's four tracks, the quartet prove themselves adept at conveying a wide range of moods with their peals of guitar fuzz, whether ominous rage, cathartic pleading or pure bliss.
Matt Bobkin

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